A conversion is an act of intelligence enlightened by grace, which makes the decision to perform the will of God and his commandments, and especially that of love.
The true conversion, as Jesus understands it, is given when a man does not trust himself, nor does he want to achieve salvation by his strength, but he puts his trust in a God we know wants to forgive us.
The first act of our conversion is the taking of the understanding of the holiness of God, with whom we are destined to be concerning our status as members of his Holy people, a relationship committed however by our sins. This awareness can be carried out in several ways: The prodigal son, come to the lowest degree of helplessness and humiliation "enters in himself" (Lk 15.17). Other times it will be the prophetic word, that is to say of a spokesman of God, who originates this consciousness. The conversion will, therefore, be an act of the InteligenCIA illuminated by grace, which decides to perform the will of God and his commandments, and especially that of love.
Although Synoptics refer primarily to the first conversion, this is valid for any conversion. One speaks about the narrow gate and of the tares which grow in the field (cf. Mt 7,13-14; 13,36-43), although we do not have the impression that the New Testament has by frequent that the Christian lives, despite his faults, separated from the Lord. Being a Christian is an aspiration to holiness as an ideal that is never entirely achievable, but knowing that God loves us more than we can imagine.
For Jesus, the conversion consists of the change of the heart, and is something essentially inside, although it can have and has external expressions (Mt 7,15-20; Mc 7,16-23). It is founded above all in the goodness of God and in the desire to participate in the supernatural love of Trinitarian life. Jesus invites the conversion not only to the public and ProstituTas, who remained outside the salvific community but also to the Pharisees and wealthy people observing the law. Jesus places every man, good or delinquent, in the need to become the Kingdom of God (Mt 10.39; Mc 8.35; Lc 17.33).
This total conversion is a task that grace implies. The conversion is made by faith, which response to the Call of God, not dismissed we forget that God acts in each of the steps that man gives in his return to him. The conversion is above all a yes to the person of Jesus Christ, to his facts and doctrines, recognizing his messiahship and Divine sonship. The ways to meet with God are, as Cardinal Ratzinger said, as many as people, although the church and the sacraments are privileged places for the encounter with God.
Conversion characterizes the Christian life; even though we are sinners, we support the grace that leads us to the Father; it is also to feel in communion with Christ to fulfill his will, purifying us of sins, and progressing in his follow-up until we feel fully committed to the service of love. Given that our sanctification is carried out in the Church, conversion means overcoming one's isolation and greater participation in ecclesial life.
For all this conversion and penance are for our joy, because we have found something worth delivering everything, as we indicate the parables of the Treasure and the Pearl (Mt 13,44-46). For Jesus joy is an integral part of the conversion and speaks in this sense of wedding banquets, bridal gowns, of jubilation which manifests itself even in the sky when a sinner becomes (LK 15.7). This relationship between penance, conversion, faith, and joy is logical if we remember that the gospel is precisely good news, hope and message of salvation.